AUGUST 2016 - One of the things DORS staff hear often from employers is that new employees lack the soft skills needed to be effective on the job. These necessary soft skills are things like listening, being on time, responsible, and being considerate of others in the workplace.
DORS consumer Darryl Boykins came to DORS with these skills. “My parents taught me how to be grounded and to be motivated by getting a job done.” DORS counselors like Megan White dream of working with consumers like Darryl. When talking about working together on Darryl’s job search Megan said “He would bring me leads! He did an enormous amount of the work.”
A career assessment at DORS’ Workforce & Technology Center (WTC) pointed Darryl in the right direction. “I went to Ms. Neal’s [Marcia Neal,
WTC Environmental Services
Instructor] class and I started buffing the floor and the other students said ‘Do you have experience?!’ and I knew that was what I wanted to do!”
While Darryl’s homeschooling by his parents helped him develop soft skills, all WTC training programs also stress the importance of these skills. Darryl: “Ms. Neal told us to be on time, be focused, learn how to get the job done, try to get a new work experience every day.”
After he graduated from Environmental Services (ES), Megan began working with Darryl on his job search and she knew his next hurdle would be the job interviews. Darryl has learning and cognitive disabilities and he sometimes has trouble articulating, so they spent a lot of time practicing for job interviews.
This past spring, Megan heard about an ES position through
in the George H. Fallon Federal Building at Johns Hopkins Plaza. “I felt that Darryl was the right person for the job. They wanted someone with experience, but I knew he could do the job. So, we sat down and went over and over his responses for the interview. When he went to the interview, he let his personality shine through, and he nailed it!”
Darryl began preparing even before he started the job in April. “After I got the job, I made a list of the things I had to do on the job, to get ready.” He now works part-time, Monday through Friday and on several different floors at the George H. Fallon building. His duties include vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning offices. He hopes to eventually get a full-time position. “This job makes me feel good. I like to be here early and my boss knows that I will get the job done. I let my work do the talking for me.”
Darryl has some advice for other DORS consumers: “I am very grateful to WTC and DORS for everything. But I would tell others that there are opportunities out there, but [employers] want to see you get the job done. Give it one hundred percent, not eighty percent, not ninety percent, and you’ll be successful.”